barbaric custom, but <one> sanctioned

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
be sanctioned by something
to be made acceptable by something:
a barbaric custom, but one sanctioned by long usage
Longman dictionary

a barbaric custom, but one sanctioned by long usage
= a barbaric custom, but it's one of the customs that were sanctioned by long usage

Am I correct?
Thanks.
 
  • Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Not quite. It should be understood to refer exactly to its antecedent:
    a barbaric custom, but [a barbaric custom] sanctioned by long usage.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Not quite. It should be understood to refer exactly to its antecedent:
    a barbaric custom, but [a barbaric custom] sanctioned by long usage.
    I'm sorry but I am not divining much difference or any difference in meaning between your explanation and Vik's.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm sorry but I am not divining much difference or any difference in meaning between your explanation and Vik's.
    The original doesn't say anything about any other customs have been sanctioned by long use.
    "One of the customs ..." tells us that there are at least two.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I'm sorry but I am not divining much difference or any difference in meaning between your explanation and Vik's.
    You and I cross-posted; my response was intended for Vik. Vik took "one" to mean "one of the customs", suggesting that there were more, and the word "barbaric" dropped out. My point was that "barbaric" had to stay, and there was no suggestion that there was more than one custom.

    For example, in the sentence "he was a very old man, but one who had the strength and stamina of someone half his age", "one" = "a very old man", and not "one of the men". For all we know, there may be no other old man who has the strength and stamina of a much younger man.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The original doesn't say anything about any other customs have been sanctioned by long use.
    "One of the customs ..." tells us that there are at least two.
    Are you saying that in a culture anywhere that there would exist only one custom? Yes, there are at least two.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    " A barbaric custom, but it's one of the customs that were sanctioned by long usage" - that would require the original sentence to be "a barbaric custom, but one of those that were sanctioned by long usage".

    In the original sentence there is no assumption that other customs were also sanctioned by long usage, though doubtless (as you say Packard) there were other customs.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The original doesn't say anything about any other customs have been sanctioned by long use.
    and there was no suggestion that there was more than one custom.
    I think that if the speaker had known, and believed that the listener
    In the original sentence there is no assumption that other customs were also sanctioned by long usage
    But still, we can assume that there're more than one custom that have been sanctioned by long use, just because it's "one", and not "the one", like:
    ... a barbaric custom, but the one sanctioned by long usage...
    Right?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    a barbaric custom, but one sanctioned by long usage

    I disagree Vik with your post #12. The sentence doesn't tell us that there were other customs sanctioned, but neither does it tell us that there was only one custom sanctioned. All it tells us is that this particular custom is one (is a custom) that has been sanctioned by long use.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is not a barbaric custom, but a genteel one.
    Here one clearly stands for custom, not barbaric custom.

    A barbaric custom, but one sanctioned by long usage

    This could mean
    a barbaric custom, but a barbaric custom sanctioned by long usage
    or
    a barbaric custom, but a custom sanctioned by long usage.
    It is grammatically ambiguous, but there is not an atom of difference in sense between the two options.
     
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